Global call for blood donors of the future

Tuesday, Aug 16, 2016

Nz Blood Missing Type

Every second three people across the world receive a life changing blood transfusion.

Blood donation saves lives. Blood donor organisations across 21 countries are uniting to highlight an almost 30% international drop in people becoming blood donors compared to a decade ago.

In a survey for the Missing Type campaign, participating blood services reported the number of people becoming donors and giving blood for the first time was 1,830,003 in 2005 and 1,324,980 in 2015 – a drop of 27.6% in 2015 compared to 2005.

The campaign – first held in England and North Wales by NHS Blood and Transplant in 2015 – this year brings together 25 blood services from 21 countries covering one billion of the world’s population who are each calling for new donors to ensure blood donation for future generations.

Key barriers to people coming forward to donate that were identified by blood services around the world include:

• increasing urbanisation

• wider and more exotic travel

• people have less time to give in an increasingly busy and digital world

• lack of awareness about the need for more diverse blood donors

• a rise in the popularity of tattoos

Throughout the campaign As, Bs and Os, the letters of the main blood groups, will disappear in everyday and iconic locations. The letters will be disappearing from famous locations in Australia, America, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, England, and many more countries. Celebrities from around the world are also going to show their support.

Additionally, patients from around the world whose lives were saved by transfusions have thanked blood donors in a moving video called Talking Heads, to highlight that in a world without As, Bs and Os, they would not be here today.

Jon Latham from NHS Blood and Transplant, the service which has co-ordinated the campaign, said: “Blood transfusions save lives and transform health for millions across the world. But they are dependent on people donating blood. Whether it is patients receiving treatment for cancer, blood disorders, after accidents or during surgery, or new mums who lost blood in childbirth, blood is an absolutely essential part of modern healthcare.

“We really hope that people will be inspired by the Missing Type campaign and start saving lives by becoming blood donors”

A number of high profile brands, individuals and organisations are backing the campaign.

“We’re delighted that we have 25 blood services globally taking part in the Missing Type campaign. It doesn’t matter where you’re from in the world, there will be patients in your country whose lives depend on transfusions. And I really hope that the Missing Type campaign will inspire more people to come forward to start saving lives. Hopefully by working together we can reverse the international decline in new donors.”

To sign up as a new donor, visit:

• New Zealand Blood Service: www.nzblood.co.nz/MissingType

• Australian Red Cross Blood Service: www.donateblood.com.au/missingtype

• American Red Cross: www.redcrossblood.org

• America’s Blood Centers: http://www.americasblood.org/missing-type-campaign.aspx

• Support the campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram #MissingType.

In 2015 the 25 blood services joining in the Missing Type campaign provided 14.7 million units of blood to treat patients thanks to the generosity of 8.16 million blood donors – 1.3 million were first time donors.